All three Darien High School orchestras, the chamber orchestra, the concert orchestra and the pops strings, all won gold ratings at the 2017 World Strides OnStage Performance Festival in New York City on April 22.  The orchestras played impressed the judges with their full sound and balance. 

The concert orchestra won gold with a combined score of 92 from the three judges.  The chamber orchestra won gold with a combined score of 96, and the pops strings won gold with a combined score of 94. 

Senior violinist Wen Yan Toh was awarded a Maestro Award for her artistically-performed solo in Beethoven's Romance in G.

All of the Darien High orchestra students, under the direction of Jane Minnis, were also awarded the prestigious Spirit of New York Award, which is given by the World Strides staff to the group that best exemplifies the spirit of competition, citizenship and overall positive attitude.

 The orchestras wished to thank  chaperones Mrs. Kathy Grandon, Mrs. Leah Kennedy, Mrs. Kim Kiner, Mrs. Brenda McDermott, Mrs. Fran McGovern, Mrs. Shanti Nalawade, Mrs. Nina Nelson and Mrs. Claire Shaughnessy — for accompanying the students on this trip and for doing a great job of keeping everything running smoothly.